Slice of Life Story - The Reading-Writing Connection

Today I challenged a group of graduate teachers to be the readers and writers their students deserve. I urged them to celebrate their literate lives, their passion for learning, with their students. I was talking about the reading- writing connection and how we as educators must endeavour to make these links explicit for our students. It should not be taken for granted that kids’ get it’ It worries me that on too many occasions I have entered classrooms where the teaching of reading and the teaching of writing exist like silos. In those classrooms there appears to be a massive disconnect between these aspects of the literacy program. They should be interdependent. They need each other’s support.

It got me to thinking how my reading life supports my writing life. My reading provides a rich harvest of ideas for my writing. It is nourishment. It is fodder. The reading provides a multitude of teachable moments to share. My reading reflections help me determine what I want students and teachers to discover about reading and how it influences the continuing quest to understand the reader I have become. 

I know that I read for different purposes and therefore the quality and range of the texts I choose varies significantly. When I have extended time for reading, I choose more challenging texts. The extra time enables me to go deeper into the book. I can savour the beauty of the author’s words. I have time to reread and reflect upon the more complex aspects of the text. There is a direct correlation between these extended reading times and term breaks or when I travel. On such occasions, I often find myself reading biographies and travel books, - perenial favourites.

During the school term I am a voracious reader of professional books, magazines and on-line articles. Some I skim read, others require repeated readings and note taking. They all require reflection.They all challenge me to think, compare and contrast.  I also have a stack of books I intend to read and they sit on a shelf in my study waiting patiently for me to return. I am grateful to my reading life for it helps sustain my writing life.


  1. Oh! The stack! Yep, I'll be we all have them piling up by our besides, near our sofas. But, like you, I view them benevolently--like old friends I haven't met yet.

    Thanks for the reflections on readings--

  2. I always have a huge to-read pile! I love sharing my reading and writing with students, but I know that there are many ways I can improve to be more effective.


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